Premises liability is not the same as general liability. General liability refers to any harm done to or on someone’s property. Premises liability applies only in cases where an owner or manager failed to maintain the physical condition of a property, and someone was injured as a result.
If you suffered injuries on another party’s property, you should consider the value of working with a personal injury lawyer from our firm. We can explain what compensation options you have when filing a claim.
Premises Liability Refers to an Owner’s Duty to Maintain Safe Physical Conditions
In premises liability cases, property owners are held responsible for maintaining their property in a reasonably safe condition. In Pennsylvania, this responsibility applies even if the owner did not specifically invite the person onto their property, as decided in Updyke v. BP Oil Co.
Maintaining a property may include the following:
- Using rock salt to prevent ice from forming on a walkway
- Fixing broken stairs or walkways
- Installing handrails
- Maintaining an area’s landscaping
- Putting up warning signs about potential hazards
- Sealing off dangerous areas
- Promptly addressing spills
By failing to maintain a property, the owner or their property manager puts visitors and employees at risk of suffering injuries – and may leave the business open to liability claims.
Injuries That May Result From Unsafe Property Conditions
Slip and falls or trip and falls are common types of premises liability cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following injuries are common after a fall:
- Head injuries/traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Breaks or fractures to the wrist, ankle, arm, or hip
If you suffered an injury as a result of a property owner’s negligence, you may have the basis of a civil claim or lawsuit.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
General Liability Covers Premises Liability and Other Forms of Liability
General liability refers to insurance that will cover many types of personal injury or damages, so long as they are a result of a business’s operations, advertising, or products. The damages could also result from conditions on the property.
In other words, general liability is much broader than premises liability. General liability insurance may even cover some premises liability cases. It also covers, for example, damages caused by an employee error or damages that result from a company’s advertising errors.
In short, if damage or injury occurs while the business and its employees are performing their usual services and duties, it may fall under a general liability insurance policy. This is contrasted with premises liability, which refers specifically to an owner’s liability for the physical condition of their property. Premises liability does not refer to situations involving a business’s services or employees.
Getting Compensation After Negligence Causes an Accident
If you were injured because of a property owner or manager’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation.
Compensation is money awarded to an accident victim as restitution for the injury and the related losses they suffered. Financial recovery usually falls into two categories.
First, there are economic damages, which includes losses like:
- Lost wages or benefits
- Lost employment
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
Then there are non-economic damages.
Unlike economic damages, which only compensate you for financial losses, non-economic damages may cover losses like:
- Reduced quality of life
- Pain and suffering
Depending on the specifics of your accident and injuries, you may be entitled to other forms of compensation not listed here.
Our Injury Lawyers Can Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
You may be able to recover compensation through negotiations with the liable insurance company. For your claim to be successful, you may have to collect evidence, such as medical records and surveillance video, to strengthen your claim. If you are unable to reach a fair settlement deal with the liable insurer, then you may have to file a lawsuit against the liable party.
This might sound like a lot of work, especially if you have not fully recovered from your injuries. If you need compensation but do not understand the legal process, consider hiring legal representation.
Our lawyers can fight for your rights by:
- Evaluating your case
- Conducting an investigation
- Filing all paperwork and notifying all liable parties
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Going to trial, if necessary
Not only will our lawyers do all the legal work in your case, but we will also charge you nothing up front. Instead, we will take our fees out of the settlement amount we get for you. We only receive payment if you do.
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What You Should Do If You Were Injured on Someone Else’s Property
If you were injured on someone else’s property – whether an individual’s or a business’s – consider taking these steps to protect your case:
Get All the Medical Care You Need
If you received emergency care immediately after the accident, this is a good start. However, continue getting all the medical care you require. If a doctor advises that you take a certain medication or undergo physical therapy, take the medication and attend the appointments.
If you fail to follow your doctors’ orders, the insurance company of the liable party could claim that you made your own injuries worse. This could compromise your case for compensation.
Avoid Posting About the Incident on Social Media
It’s natural to want to discuss your hardships with friends and family. Avoid doing so online. If you discuss details of your case on social media, an insurance company could use your statements to lower your settlement value.
Keep Conversations with Third Parties to a Minimum
The liable party’s lawyers or insurance representatives may contact you if they learn about your case. Keep these conversations brief. If they ask you to make a recorded statement, decline. Again, your recorded words can be used to harm your case.
Review Any Settlement Offers with Your Legal Team
Our team is prepared to advise you on what a fair settlement amount looks like for your case. If you receive any early offers from the liable party’s representatives, consider reviewing them with our team. We can help you make important decisions about your case and seek the fair compensation you deserve.
Call Berger and Green for a Free Case Review After an Injury
It is important to understand that premises liability is not the same as general liability. Our team can answer all your questions about liability and help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Berger and Green represents accident victims in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, and we want to help you, too.
Give us a call at (412) 661-1400. We will evaluate your case at no charge, and you owe us no fees unless you get compensated.